Community Investing Is Economic Sustainability

Nov 17, 2022 10:10 AM ET

Community Investing is Economic Sustainability

by Mark Regier of Praxis Funds and Everence Financial

For too long, community investing has been seen as an act of charity, equated with largesse or evidence of excess resources in one’s economic life. And while charity — financial gifts drawn from excess finances and given to causes and organizations that require such support to do their good work (disaster recovery, the arts, crisis food and shelter, ministry support, etc.) — can be an important aspect of one’s faith and worship life, community investing fulfills a different function. Far from just a “nice thing”, community investing is something altogether different.

But before we explore some of the deeper motivations community investing has for people of faith, particularly those in the Judeo-Christian tradition, perhaps a definition is in order. Community investing — or community development investing (CDI) as we frequently call it at Praxis — is distinguished from other good/responsible/social/faith-based/ESG investing by the primary intent of the investment being to help deliver the benefit of economic opportunity for others even at the cost of a competitive return for the investor. This intentionally concessionary capital can take many forms but it plays a critical — catalytic — role between truly charitable contributions (or grants), which are frequently limited, and the scale of impact offered through more traditional, market-rate, socially-oriented investments.

Read Mark's full article here -